Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Letter to Randy

I'm pretty buzzed.

Randy Mortensen
55009 County Road C
Center, CO 81125

Dear Randy,

Randy, Randy, Randy. Hello, Randy. There you are. You know, I just made up a name in my head and searched for it, and up popped your name. What a trip! Who knows if you're real or not. Maybe nothing's real, you know? No, I'm just screwing with you. Also, I've been drinking.

So how was your year, Randy? Personally, I couldn't be happier to say goodbye to 2008. My cat died. He was an old cat, to be sure, but I still loved him. I found him dead in a barn a half mile down the road. Did you know pigs will eat anything? My uncle once got an air rifle as a kid and went out to shoot starlings, and the pigs just chomped them up faster than he could shoot them out of the sky. Anyway, so here I am, staring at this half-eaten cat when I realize, "This isn't Puddlepaws!"

You see, Puddlepaws was a lot of things. He was a womanizer, a hunter and a fiend. But one thing he was not, Randy, was a slob. I cut his nails twice a week myself. This cat, though, had a full set of talons on the one back paw the pigs had left. Wondering if Puddlepaws was still alive, I went down to the dairy farm to see if Dan Oglethorpe had seen him wandering around the spill gutters in the milking barn.

Now Dan Oglethorpe is a lot of things. He's a womanizer, a hunter and a fiend. But one thing he is not, Randy, is a liar. He said he had seen Puddlepaws, but he hadn't stopped by the farm. He saw him sitting in the Methodist church parking lot the day before at the 9:30 AM service. Puddlepaws was sitting on the hood of Mary Worthington's 1988 Buick, waiting for her to share some of the canned albacore she always carried in her purse in case some of the downtown urchins made eye contact with her in front of the YWCA.

You see, Randy, the YWCA is where Mrs. Worthington played bridge every second Tuesday of the month, that's odd months you know, and seeing as it was December Puddlepaws knew she'd have a full can of albacore waiting for January. He's a smart cat, which is why I was suprised when Mary told me that Puddlepaws had left before the end of service. Something must have really spooked him to make him leave that Buick, which was also pretty warm on the account of Mary's 25 mile commute from her pig farm back near my house.

Unfortunately, Randy, it turns out I was right all along. I'd forgotten that I'd left Puddlepaws' rear claws intact so he could hand-stand fish for crawdads down by Cobb's Fork Creek before the hard freeze, and when Mary came out of church she didn't think a spare second about the back window she'd left open on her Buick. She kept it open so her upholstery wouldn't smell like the Kools she smokes when she drives Eileen Ruettiger to next month's bridge match, since Eileen's husband died of emphysema in 2004, and she'll prostelyize against smoking until the cows come home. Poor Puddlepaws caught a ride back to her farm that Sunday where, drawn by smell of those fat mice in Mary's barn, he met his fate at the hands of those prized Bentheim Black Pied pigs she keeps.

Well, that's the way the cookie crumbles. I'm sure 2009 will be better. But here I am, prattling on about my life when you haven't said a single thing about your family. How did 2008 treat your litter? Let me know, I feel like we haven't talked in forever.

Your Man in Ohio,

The Correspondent


Anonymous said...

Fortunately, you turned to your girlfriend for help on making end of life decisions for cats when the guy on NDNation sought advice. I do not think Randy would consider you the "go to" guy for feline care.